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Acura RL

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Comments

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    I do not mean to suggest that VW's (or Volvo's for that matter) AWD was derived from RWD -- this, at this time, is not accurate. That Audi and VW and Skoda are rethinking their implementation of AWD to be RWD biased (40/60) is, however, the apparent next gen quattro and 4Motion design. Acrua, with only a CAR FWD basis for being, has to have either AWD or RWD in order to be allowed to sit at the Premium segment table. It is my understanding, for example, that the next gen US bound Audi A6 will ONLY come in AWD and this, in part, would appear to be the reason for the RL coming standard with AWD. In other words, both the Audi and the Acura would somehow no longer be welcome as a Premium car if they also offered their cars with ONLY FWD -- and neither Audi not Acura, as far as I can tell, have any interest in bringing out an RWD only product.

    The automotive press or "the market" has deemed FWD cars no longer worthy to belong to "the Premium Class."

    Stay tuned for the Cliff notes -- this is getting so complicated. And, if you've been following cars and reading about them as long as I have, you'll perhaps note that this shift back to RWD based vehicles is a 180 from the not too distant past and the much more distant past when cars such as the Cord (FWD) were considered "Premium" or "Technologically Advanced."

    What's old is new again.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    RL will supposedly have a cabin volume of 103 cu. ft which would be 6-7 cu. ft better than Acura TL. Longer wheelbase and longer car (by 5 inches over TL) should contribute towards additional legroom.

    RL should have everything standard that is in TL, and then some. Which would mean, it will have all the airbags, stability control (VSA), ABS w/EBD etc. standard.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I don't believe that making the SH-AWD system standard had anything to do with a goal of providing traditional "AWD benefits". It's just a way of dismissing the need for RWD. If they offered a FWD-only RL, there would be a good deal of press regarding Honda's alleged fixation with FWD.

    The primary benefit to SH-AWD is that it allows 70% of the engine's torque to flow to the outside rear wheel. The fact that 30% remains up front is secondary.
  • Hello,
    I too am excited about awd and now drive a subaru. haven't heard much about interior space with the new rl? The present model doesn't have enough back seat legroom for me with all the car seats and bending over to get them in etc. I did sit in a new tl. and was not impressed. does anyone know about this new rl and how about rear side airbags and curtains. Im the mommy crowd but we do have quite a say in what gets bought sometimes.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Another point to note on RL’s AWD system is that it was designed for performance, not just to offer “AWD” option. Otherwise Acura could have simply used the VTM-4 as it is in MDX (which can also send up to 70% of the torque to the rear wheels, and is a pro-active system (opening the throttle engages the AWD, with or without slippage).

    Acura added ATTS to continuously vary torque split between inner and outer wheels during cornering. In addition, the outer wheel can “speed up” to 105% of the speed at which the inner wheel is turning. This makes me wonder if the passive rear wheel steering layout using Watt-link double wishbone rear suspension would be necessary (something Honda has used for years in Accord, TL, CL and now TSX).
  • If the RL drove as smooth, soft, road-isolated, and quiet as the LS430, I would buy it even if it were a 4-Cylinder with 150HP and goes from 0-60 in 8 seconds.

    I think the reason the RL did not compete well with the Lexus LS is because it was significantly louder and less cushioned. It had nothing to do with a V6 vs. V8 engine. I don't think people who like a pure luxury cruiser care about how fast the vehicle goes in 0-60. A pure luxury cruiser has one purpose: to make your driving as quiet, comfy, and relaxing as possible.

    I think a car company needs to have different lines of cars.
    1) Luxury cruiser sedan
    2) Sport sedan
    3) Convertible
    4) Large SUV
    5) Compact SUV

    I like the idea of Honda/Acura not competing on increasing prices. By all means, keep the prices down. But could you also offer more variety?

    You have a TSX---sporty
    You have a TL-Sporty
    You have CL-sporty
    You have a RSX--sporty
    You have a MDX-sporty SUV
    You have an NSX-extremely sporty

    And now you have an RL-sporty too?

    C'mon, man. What about the pure luxury cruiser people? We have to buy a Lexus?

    I guess so.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I associate Honda with sport (not cushy). People loved the Legend because of that. They felt bad when Legend became the RL with a cushy ride in 1996, complained, Acura listened and tried stop-gap measures to address it until now.

    There can be different baselines to define sporty. IMO,
    TSX is the sportiest of the Acura sedans.
    TL is essentially a touring luxury (“TL”), somewhat sporty, but comfort gets almost as much priority
    RL will be less sporty than TSX and TL, and more comfort oriented.

    This is progression. And this also bodes well with how a typical buyer grows up. Young drivers tend to prefer tight and controlled chassis, and pampering is relatively less important. As they grow older, the bias may tend to move towards pampering, and away from sport (unless they continue to be… “young at heart” IMO).

    Having performance oriented SH-AWD does not mean RL is going to be a sport sedan. It is still going to be a luxury cruiser that will negotiate turns with finesse.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    I agree -- AWD is, probably, more for IMAGE, marketing or "current dues" as the market apparently falls out of love with FWD.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    . . .the fact that the new Acura RL will offer AWD moves it onto the "will consider" category. And, although I am certain to be castigated for this, I would have put an FWD Acura on my list long before I ever would even consider putting an RWD (only) version on my list.

    I understand the arguments for RWD -- I have had all three kinds AWD, FWD and RWD. For my needs and wants, RWD offers mainly a fair weather friend's face to me.

    Exciting indeed that Acura, Cadillac and Chrysler by this time next year (sooner, actually) will join: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Subraru, Volvo, VW, Jaguar and several others in bringing some very interesting AWD product to their non-SUV offerings.
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    I do not entirely agree with the IMAGE justification for AWD. I think the argument of diligently directing the ever increasing power of the new powertrain commands evolving from FWD to AWD. In fact, even my driving on a lowly Accord EX-L shows me a torque-steer problem on tigh turns (especially when moving from stops and intersection) and I am dealing only with 170HP! I admit part of it is my driving style, after 20 years in the US I still drive as I was in Italy!!!

    So after such disclosure on my part no one is going to be surprised if I also dissent with the arguments made in favor of luxury car=narcotic ride! Just to clarify my point I would add that both BMW and MB have clearly recognized 'Luxury offerings' that happen to be very sporty as well. The confusion may rise from the Japanese brands such Lexus that have otherwise offered 'join the narcolepsy party' models, but personally I'll steer clear from those at least until my granchild retirement party! Meantime let me enjoy 'driving around' with a nice sporty luxury sedan, possibly an Acura!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    "C'mon, man. What about the pure luxury cruiser people? We have to buy a Lexus?"

    Luxury cruiser people should stay with Lexus and drive on the outer lanes. Leave inner lanes for sporty sedans. Just kidding.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm very excited about all these AWD sedans too. Here in PA, my XKR is only good about 8 months out of the year, and even my daily driver LS can get stuck, and I really dont want a FWD car. The new TL is very impressive for having FWD, but just about all other FWD cars arent. Also, if companies like Audi start designing their cars with AWD in mind, rather than FWD with an AWD option, the weight balance will improve significantly. Even the RS6 suffers from like a 60\40 front bias weight, which means front end plow and understeer, because its ultimately a FWD car. Cars like the G35x though Im pretty sure can maintain a solid almost even balance.
  • teeboteebo Posts: 4
    "The only thing we didn’t like about the RL was the fact that even though the specs say it’s bigger inside than the last RL and current TL, it feels smaller inside the cabin than the others, probably due to the sloped roofline. The car also looks much smaller on the outside…it almost looks 3-series size when it used to look 5-series size. It should be interesting to see how well it sells when it hits showrooms in November."

    You couldn't tell at the auto show just how big it was inside. Still looked good enough for me to deposit $500, although if it is this small it would be a disappointment. The exterior dimensions put it about equal to an A6 and slightly larger than the E class and 5 series.
  • davek4davek4 Posts: 6
    In response to some earlier posts today:

    I have found that Infiniti.com includes relatively specific pricing estimates of the new M45 trim levels and option packages. You can configure your ideal M45 along with options and get a rather detailed preliminary pricing report. Adding options comparable to the 2005 RL seem to push the M45 AWD above $50k.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    teebo, it seems like only you and I have put down $500 deposit on the new RL around here. I was first at my local dealer. No obligation, fully refundable here in California by law.

    From the spec, the interior of RL should be larger than older 5-series. It has about 98 cubic ft inside. RL has more than 100 I believe. Besides, RL's wheelbase is longer than 5-series (108" compared with 110"). I just wish the new RL can be as close to 50/50 weight balanced as my 540iA (52/48). Adding AWD, RL would be awesome in any driving conditions. Personally, I care more about driving dynamics than raw horse power.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I don't see anything wrong with 60/40 balance, and RS6 is a grate example, it' did outhandle M5, and don't forget M5 has 6Mt and RS6 comes only with AT. You can make the same argument about S4 and M3, S4 also outhandled M3.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Remember that at least here in the US, the RS6 is brand new, and the M5 dates back to 1997. The E55 will beat an RS6, and the M. The next 500hp M should put the trophy back in BMW's corner. A 60/40 balance is not ideal. You just cant achieve razor sharp handling with that much weight in the front.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Razor sharp handling can be achieved in cars that have 60/40, 50/50 or 40/60 (mid/rear engine) weight split. It is about chassis tuning. That said, cars like RL aren’t meant to be “razor sharp” handlers, given the compromises that must be made to achieve it. RL will likely have a typical soft to firm chassis set up, for good handling, without giving up much in terms of ride. With AWD set up (and ATTS mounted in the rear), the weight distribution should be around 55-45.
  • "Luxury cruiser people should stay with Lexus and drive on the outer lanes. Leave inner lanes for sporty sedans. Just kidding."

    No, you are right.

    But I do find myself in my LS400 on the left lane going 70mph in a 60mph zone everyday. However, I do realize that 10mph above limit doesn't necessarily qualify for "speeding".

    But you are right about sticking to Lexus for pure luxury cruiser.
    However, as lexusguy will probably agree with, the new LS430 goes from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, which is probably A LOT faster than any Acura, except the NSX!

    And I think any such comments about how the RL is still a luxury cruiser is a total joke by my standards. The RL is way too loud and harsh-riding compared to the LS430. I mean it's pretty good compared to a $15K Accord, but it's nothing compared to a Lexus in terms of pure luxury cushy cruising.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    . . .Acura and Audi, to name but two -- will and have created AWD cars essentially from FWD cars, of this I assume we can all agree.

    It is true that the RS6, to name but one, is "nose heavy" -- but this is NOT necessarily the reason to claim that a car is FWD biased. After spending my weekend test driving AWD cars, you can bet that the BMW and Mercedes dealers (when they see us drive up in an Audi) point out that a "true" AWD car will always be torque biased to the rear.

    Both of these fine German brands offer that their cars are 38% FWD and 62% RWD and that for Audi AWD was an afterthought. Huh?!? I am certain the "father of quattro" would have a word or two about this declaration.

    Generally, the reason (so they claim) for their AWD "superiority" is that they were RWD first and AWD built upon this.

    I wonder if the Acura RL will claim AWD and leave it at that or if it will attempt to "prove" that it is NOT a poser by touting an RWD bias even if it is 45% 55%?

    The RS6 is an awesome car -- the fact that it is nose heavy, IMHO, more than its FWD/RWD bias contributes to its tendancy to understeer. In an ideal world, I would conclude, the ideal would be 50 - 50 weight bias and perhaps a slight RWD bias, or, as is used in the Audi, a 50 50 drive bias with a Torsen "brain." The electronics the BMW and Merc guys explained, to make the AWD system work seem fine, but also seem to be a not needed complication, especially when one understands how Torsen works. The BMW guy was quick to add "yea but, yea but, Torsen is noisy and not seamless in operation."

    The electronics required to shift power on the BMW are probably hunky dunky -- but in no way is the above claim accurate from behind the wheel of a Torsen equipped car.

    What system is the Acura using and, what is its F/R weight bias and its F/R power split?
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